Bute – It`s What`s for Dinner!

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When I first saw this gem of a conversation,  it really called out to me.  It needed a response.  Looking at it,  I just couldn’t believe the wealth of material it offered.  It was/is overwhelming.  That noise you just heard dear reader?  That is the sound of neurons withering. The more I read these types of  posts the more I realize that I’m in need of some kind of prophylactic.  Once again we are venturing down the path of rejecting or banning any science that happens to conflict with the pro-slaughter personal philosophy, politics,  prejudices,  or paranoia.  These snippets of posts truly indicate that for every complex problem,  there is an answer that is clear,  simple,  and wrong.  I hope I never feel so compelled to respond to another bute posting by a pro-slaughter – their continual claims about bute are kinda of like saying “She Bangs” is William Hung’s best song.  It’s also his only song,  and if you’ve heard him sing,  you know he shouldn’t give up his day job!

Thank you to the lone anti-slaughter proponent who used reason and logic to counter these statements.  Thank you Shedrow,  for your excellent treatment of these same passages,  as you always do.  Props to you both!  I applaud you both as “Warriors Against Claptrap.”  I thought it might be interesting to “tag team” the comments of individuals who want to make scientific claims,  but can’t quite subject themselves to the same scrutiny that real scientists do every day.

Most of these arguments put forth by the pro-slaughters are really a form of science denialism.  Here’s one of the best quotes on scientific denialism (this is a real movement BTW) by Martin McKee,  an epidemiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  He studies denialism,  and has identified six tactics that all science denialists use.  “I’m not suggesting there is a manual somewhere, but one can see these elements, to varying degrees, in many settings,” he says (The European Journal of Public Health, vol 19, p 2).

  1.  Allege that there’s a conspiracy.  Claim that scientific consensus has arisen through collusion rather than the accumulation of evidence.
  2. Use fake experts to support your story.  “Denial always starts with a cadre of pseudo-experts with some credentials that create a façade of credibility,”  says Seth Kalichman of the University of Connecticut.
  3. Cherry-pick the evidence:  trumpet whatever appears to support your case and ignore or rubbish the rest.  Carry on trotting out supportive evidence even after it has been discredited.
  4. Create impossible standards for your opponents.  Claim that the existing evidence is not good enough and demand more.  If your opponent comes up with evidence you have demanded,  move the goalposts.
  5. Use logical fallacies.  Hitler opposed smoking,  so anti-smoking measures are Nazi.  Deliberately misrepresent the scientific consensus and then knock down your straw man.
  6. Manufacture doubt.  Falsely portray scientists as so divided that basing policy on their advice would be premature.  Insist “both sides” must be heard and cry censorship when “dissenting” arguments or experts are rejected.

Sound familiar?

Here we go!

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“So here is a big question for all people out there. Bute. Although I’m not sure I heard it mentioned too much before the AR’s realized that the horse slaughter ban was not working and there was indeed going to be a push for horse slaughter to come back. Now as I see it “Logically. I get the fact that it’s something that is not to be put in the food chain. It’s not about that. It’s about a withdrawal time. Now Anti’s will say “there is no withdrawal time for bute” And technically they are correct. There is no DOCUMENTED. And I stress the word “documented” over and over again. a withdrawal time for bute simply does not exists in horses because. It has never been tested for. And really that makes sense. Why test a drug in a animal that there is no slaughter for human consumption for in your country at the time. But it doesn’t mean it does not have a withdrawal time that can be discovered. Cattle have a withdrawal time for all the same drugs. So it’s not a the drugs that lingers in the blood stream for the life time of the animal. I also like to say re treating of the animal is needed which would also lend itself to the concept that the liver of the horse purifies itself of all the drug that is ingested. See I think once a withdrawal date is figured out it would be extremely simple to work around the problem. A simple quarantine would do the trick. 30 days in a feedlot for example. what do you think?”

I think you’re guessing,  that’s what I think.  It’s the metabolized compound that can kill youThe doctors and veterinarians who attempted to refute Dr. Marini et al’s study expected pro-slaughters to accept their supposition even though it exemplified an argument from ignorance,  which started out as an appeal to authority.  How did this happen?  Sue Wallis and Dave Duquette asked everyone to accept the word of a veterinarian who is an expert in his own field (body scoring),  but who is commenting on a field outside of his area of expertise. Dr. Henneke supports the assertion that bute exits the system completely.  So what?  He’s not a toxicologist.  When you want to discuss the Henneke scale,  Dr. H is one guy to call.  Similarly,  if Einstein makes a suggestion about relativity,  you’d better listen. If he tries to tell you how to ride a horse,  you can tell him to keep his day job.  Read Dr. Marini’s response here.

In a survey, 96% of respondents said they used nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to control the joint pain and inflammation in horses, and 82% administer them without always consulting their veterinarian. More than 1,400 horse owners and trainers were surveyed to better understand attitudes toward NSAIDs.  Additionally,  99 percent of horses that started in California last year raced on bute, according to Daily Racing Form.

In the US, Canada, and the EU, bute is not permitted to be used for food animals. PERIOD. That simple acknowledgement renders any other discussion on toxicology rather moot (not “mute”). There are no safe levels for known carcinogens,  which is why it’s pointless to discuss to what degree bute is or is not eliminated from the tissues. Harm is assumed.  Discussions of toxicity or “safe levels” are reserved for non-carcinogenic effects. Non-carcinogens are assessed with a different type of dose-response study than that for carcinogens.

Furthermore, the “precautionary principle” is recognized in international law, and it of course stresses that the absence of scientific certainty about a risk should not bar the taking of precautionary measures in the face of possible irreversible harm.

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“commission a study, and petition the fda, usda, cfda and the eu to change their laws and there you go.
k so would they? what loops would you have to jump through?”

The cost of most of the basic and translational biomedical research in the U.S. is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Unfortunately, the NIH budget has been stagnant for the last few years.  Who will pay for this study?  A proper study on the health effects of consuming bute may have to follow participants through their lives for 20 years or so.  And you would have to conduct a study of current horsemeat consumers,  because no epidemiologists will subject non-consumers of horsemeat to a study of contaminated food unless they were already typically eating it,  because that would be unethical,  as it would be unethical to ask people to start smoking so you could study them.

There are over 8500 references to bute on the Pubmed database.  Are you suggesting that we don’t yet have sufficient data?  If you have anything less than a study of this calibre (20 years or so) then you may as well be publishing the results in the New England Journal of “Who Gives a Rat’s Ass.”

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“No need to worry much about what will be approved and for what withdrawal time. Markets demand issue free food sources. A quick test of the animal to show it is substance free and it gets the stamp on its butt and off it goes. First nations have 100,000 animals that are good to go till the rest of the market gets in line. Its like sports testing , what ever happened before is mute as long as the test comes out good. Export operations have other countries to deal with other then the US so why would they even consider trying to convince any of them that this or that is safe. I always wondered why the pro people just don’t give the AR’s a win on the bute issue and move on. Trying to convince anyone that any chemical will be OK come a certain point is a tough sell.”

The gold standard for testing drug residues is liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Chromatographic techniques are used in order to separate compounds, and mass spectrometry to identify them.  You need equipment and/or a lab in order to conduct a test of this quality.  Again,  where would this equipment be housed?  Furthermore,  you would need to test a helluva lot more animals than the CFIA currently tests,  which is somewhere around 1% of all animals slaughtered.   Currently Canada relies on the EU to catch our errors and omissions.  Wonder how long they will tolerate that?

Speaking of sports testing,  it’s interesting to note that a competitor for the Tour de France (in France, where they serve horsemeat) came under scrutiny after testing positive for Clenbuterol. It was suspected that he ate contaminated meat, although I don’t believe anything was proven.

I think Canada has just found a way to win at the Olympics in 2016! Who is the host country in 2016?? Next time we host the summer Olympics is the opportune time to eliminate a good chunk of competitors from France, Kazahkstan and Kyrgyzstan this way. Go Gerry Ritz! Team Canada all the way!

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I think the study would have to come from the USDA or FDA to be recognized, wouldnt it? I cant see them accepting a commisioned study by an intrest group.”

For a minute there I thought he wrote “inbred” group – you know how you scan through something when reading quickly?  Here’s the thing,  science trumps politics any day.  Science SHOULD inform politics,  but unfortunately,  that doesn’t often happen.

Karl Popper wrote about the scientific method and what makes a good study.   It is possible for “special interest groups” to conduct legitimate studies if all the correct procedures are followed.  If you have a theory that metabolites of bute are harmless or that withdrawal times could be established,  then you must start with your theory and create your study from there.


“But to get it done right now you need to figure something out you know what? What if you tested after they were hung? any part of the horse can be tested then and could you not put a horse to different uses. Say if she has bute she’s fertilizer…, kind of a deal.”

So you’re going to leave these horses at the bleed rail while you send a sample off for the liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry tests?  Of course that will seriously mess with your production scheduling.  It would be a logistical nightmare,  because although mass spectrometry tests are quick (relative to other tests) you must either have a lab (with trained technicians) on the premises or you must send your samples out to a lab or university.  Meanwhile,  your horses are still hung up (literally) on the bleed rail waiting on the results.

“Another question…sorry again for my lack of knowledge here. When I do toxicity tests on paint samples, I

liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometer

This is not a photocopier – it`s a liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometer

get info based on certain test parameters (3-5 depending on what the part is used for in the car). I also send a paint sample to the state lab. They do studies to see how long certain chemicals in the paint stay in the body…all a result of lead-based paints they used 60+ years ago. Why couldnt a simalar process be put in place for this bute stuff? If they know how long it lingers in tissues, they can put a hold on the animals until that time frame is expired, then do a drug sample of the horses as they process them. It might be a little bit of a bugger to start off, but within a couple of weeks, it would flow like a well oiled machine….if you’ll pardon my pun! Hehehe”

Please don’t apologize for your lack of understanding.  We’re pretty much used to it by now.  It’s your mantra really,  isn’t it?  I’m honestly glad you’re not in charge of the food system,  what with your analogy that testing meat is comparable to testing paint samples.

“If you had a stream line way to test a carcass. would that not be the surest fire way to do it? of course I don’t know what the test would be.But I would think a quick test ought to be developed. It’s not that it’s a impossible situation. You just got to figure on how to get around it till you have a system in place to work it right. the inspectors have been refunded and slaughter (should) be back. I think this is something that needs a thought.”

I’ve just described how it would be.  It has been developed.   And I’ve got news for you,  You’ve all been “getting around it” for years and it’s come home to roost,  hasn’t it?  Getting around regulations is hardly a  “best practice” for a business now,  is it?  Getting around rules gets you in deep shit,  just ask Enron.

“I think if you had a sure fire way you’d havce a premium. If food saftey is a issue you pay your safest countries good dollar and give a premium.”

“I like the post above that allowed for the non-buted horses to be sold for human consumption and the positive ones for commercial application. Still using the animal’s carcass in a positive manner. No one ever said human consumption was the only viable market.”

And you send the pharmaceutical grade horsemeat to the poor countries?  According to the EID,  they’re all “non-buted” aren’t they?  What are the other “viable markets?”  Dog food isn’t one of them,  since collies and other breeds of dogs are sensitive to ivermectin wormers.  The only proper thing you could do with the carcasses is throw them away, incincerate them,  or mass compost them.  Keep the skins,  hair,  hooves, and process them into other by-products.  Not sure the cost of killing the horse would make the sale of these by-products cost-effective either.  Or you could simply euthanize them,  which is what happens to 90% of all horses that die in the US and Canada each year.


“EU isn’t the only market for horses; Asiatic countries count for a great deal if the market. And since we have been giving Bute for decades and slaughter has only been banned 5-6 years for human consumption, why is this an issue now? Test the meat like they always do, always have done, always will do (just like beef, pork, poultry) and move on.”

“don’t forget south american market as well for horse meat! caribbean nations love their horse meat as well.”

I see that the milk of human kindness overflows.  I thought Sue Wallis was going to donate horsemeat to “underprivileged countries” that had billions of starving people? And those markets haven’t caught on yet.  So,  like other big corporations who have poisoned unsuspecting citizens of 2nd and 3rd world countries,  let’s dump this shit on these brown-skinned people who haven’t yet caught on.  This poster clearly believes in that old saying “Caveat Fornicata – Let The Person About To Get Fvcked Beware.”

“I don’t have a problem with anyone being against slaughter, it’s just that not many are willing to offer up a better idea in place. They are going to have to die. That’s just real life…so what do we do with them?”

90% of horse owners already have this one figured out.  But there are many suggestions,  this list is not comprehensive either:

Many solutions have been proposed, most supporters of the GAO report stopped reading when they got to the part where it recommended a slaughter ban –

  • Ban slaughter and a transport to slaughter.
  • Enact an export fee of around xx.xx dollar value on any horse leaving the country, where xx.xx is a sum that is significant enough to deter illegitimate export but not financially restrictive on actual horse owners.
  • Distribute the money collected to be used for gelding clinics, funds for retired racehorses, owner assistance programs, hay banks, grants for adoption, care of seized horses, euthanization clinics, and PROSECUTE offenders who neglect and abuse. Horse registries should collect a breeding TAX which again, is distributed to cover the above. Although it’s not a major source of donations right now, bequests also help occasionally. And never forget that education is key to responsible ownership.
  • Enterprising business people SHOULD see an opportunity for composting/rendering of horses, perhaps on a mobile basis. Without slaughter, people might start actually TRAINING their horses instead of dumping them at an auction. Obviously, the availability of slaughter is not a preventative for abuse, case in point – the largest neglect case in Texas’ history took place at a property owned by a vet just outside of Dallas, when Dallas Crowne and Beltex were open.
  • I would also like to see offspring that are approved in order to be accepted into a breed registry, which is what the warmblood registries require – when was the last time you saw a warmblood on a feedlot?
  • The fact that breed registries show a decline is positive, but since horses live an average of 20 years, it will take several years to see the effect of the decline. Bouvry and Richelieu have already published an accounting that states that they will no longer accept TBs, ostensibly because of the drugs and the fact that most racetracks have invoked no-slaughter policies. We don’t sell cat and dog meat at the end of their lives; breeding of cats and dogs and irresponsible ownership still plague us, because no solution to horse slaughter is without problems. Animal ownership is never without problems, because there are always going to be people who aren’t willing to look after their animals, and the presence of slaughter does not change that. Certainly slaughter is problematic, no?

What everyone is whining about is not much different (aside from the fact we are dealing with sentient animals) from what happened to the Airline industry in the US after September 11. Demand for air travel was reduced after the terrorist attacks, while at the same time use of the internet made it possible to book travel plans and compare the prices of the various airlines – this FORCED the airlines to compete on a cost basis. Then of course the airlines experienced dramatic fuel costs and had to cut back on amenities that had been taken for granted for decades. The industry wasn’t expecting any of this and certainly wasn’t prepared, but they were COMPELLED to act or cease to exist. The cessation of horse slaughter would compel similar reaction from individuals, breeders, and others in the industry. You can’t fix slaughter with all the current players. The Trent Saulters and Dorian Ayache’s will always be around, causing transport accidents and morphing into new business entities, running from the law and avoiding paying their fines. The industry is hardly made up of the most outstanding citizens.

The point is that, despite the best laid plans, people, governments, and organizations tend not to react until a problem reaches critical mass – that’s human nature unfortunately. Of course, necessity is the mother of invention, right? Lastly, I’m not buying any claims made by Wallis, Duquette or DesBarres.

“ll for whoever wants to open the plants it’s up to them nobody else. Again it’s a choice. If some one wants to choose to open a slaughter plant it’s there deal. If they do humanley and do things all properly it’s there decision. Simple.“

Let me drop a fat “no” on that one.  It’s the government’s job to regulate chemicals and toxins,  and citizens have an expectation that this will be done with adherence to the “precautionary principle.”  The public has a legitimate concern that chemicals used in drugs,  commerce, and foods,  will be prudently evaluated for unreasonable risk. Risk is a function of exposure and hazards presented by a chemical over its lifetime. Unreasonable risk adds consideration of technical, economic, and societal impacts. Canada is implementing a law that requires screening of chemicals in commerce to ensure that the government identifies, evaluates, and takes appropriate action for those chemicals posing the highest risks.

“Yes it is about choice…., that is what AR’s want to do take away your choice. You really haven’t understood this page at all have you? It’s simple AR’s are lying to push there agenda down every ones throat. we explain it to people why they are lies. The more I talk to you the more I understand you don’t care about folks choice to do what they deem right. Your more about controlling the slaughter issue. we discussed bute allot of good examples were given to get around Bute and you bring up Marketing…, Now is that a real reason to stop slaughter? don’t think so. Cause it is the owners of the plants choice to do it correctly If they wanna take the chance that the market may not be there later. Where does that concern you? It doesn’t. But because you are a anti you make it your decision to try to push beliefs on any body who will listen.., that’s not going to work here. If you don’t like the way the page is run don’t comment it’s not hard to understand really.”

Gimme a break!  (shoutout to Nell Carter)  Reasonable, rational people who are not fact-challenged,  UNDERSTAND,  even if they do not ACCEPT.   No one cares if you ACCEPT the response,  only that you UNDERSTAND the response.   Blaming the messenger never changes the facts,  because a fact cannot be insolent – and you have no right to be offended merely because you don’t like or agree with said fact.

If you are going to argue badly,  why bother to do it at all?  Too many people are merely mimicking what rational discussion sounds like to them.  For the only ways any views can be reasonably challenged are by the supported claim that (1) the conclusion is not true, (2) that the evidence is not true, or (3) that the evidence is insufficient to justify the conclusion. The only ways you can have mistaken beliefs of any sort is to have faulty evidence — evidence that is not true or that, even if it is true, still does not support your beliefs.


Anyway,  this has been another instalment of “Simple Answers to Simple Questions.”  The bute ship has sunk,  so please stop re-arranging the deck chairs.

 

About Heather Clemenceau

Hopefully as I've grown older I've also grown wiser, but one thing I've definitely become cognizant of is the difference between making a living and making a life. Frequently outraged by some of life's cruelties, and respect diversity. But.....I don't suffer fools gladly, and occasionally, this does get me into some trouble! I have the distinction of being the world's worst golfer - no wait, I do believe that there is a gypsy in Moldavia who is a worse golfer than I. Nor am I much of a dancer - you won't see a booty-shakin' flygirl routine from me! I'm also not the kind of cook who can whip up a five-course meal on a radiator either! And I've never figured out how to get an orchid to bloom a second time. I love to discuss literature, science, philosophy, and sci-fi , or even why Seinfeld is funny on so many levels. Words move me. I'm very soft-hearted about most things, especially animals, but I have a stoicism about me that is sometimes interpreted incorrectly. I do have a definite edge and an often "retro-adolescent" sense of humour at times. I'm a big advocate of distributed computing projects to advance science. Check out http://boinc.berkeley.edu/ if you want to find out more. I'm an eclectic (but not crazy) vegetarian, and as such, it's a personal practice of mine to seduce innocent meat-eaters into cruising the (salad) bars at every opportunity. You would be powerless to resist. I was recently surprised to find that a computer algorithm concluded that I write like Dan Brown, which is funny because I didn't think Dan Brown could actually write. Check out your own style - http://iwl.me/ Oh, and I love impractical shoes and funky hats.

32 responses »

    • Gotta agree with that! How can these people ALL be this ignorant? How can anyone be this ignorant? They keep on about “not having done tests on horses” when it comes to bute. Why they cannot get it through their heads that you can’t use bute on any food animal is just amazing. Of course, they could be pretending they don’t get it, but I have the awful feeling that people like these really don’t get it.

      Since doctors themselves don’t know how low the residue would have to be to be safe for all humans, they couldn’t very well set that limit now could they? Holy Guacamole! What’s to understand?

    • I do think it is a uniquely American issue at times. I can’t remember when I’ve heard that particular argument from a Canadian. If Canadians want to disagree with us, they usually just claim we’re “speciesists” for singling out horses (at least they think we single out horses). Of course, Canada doesn’t really have free speech in the same degree that the Americans do, and we don’t have guns, so it’s unlikely we’re going to argue that our freedoms are being trampled by closing down a slaughterhouse.

      • I think you are right, Heather. Americans have come to believe that they are free to say or do anything they want – and that just is NOT true and never has been. You don’t have freedom to break the law. Or do anything that interferes with another person’s rights.

        I think the Americans who are making all this noise have lost their minds. Literally. I’m certainly for free speech, but there HAS to be some limitations in certain venues. Likewise with all the freakin’ GUNS! You can’t BELIEVE the hullabaloo the gun rights people throw at the very suggestion that there should be SOME limitations as to who can purchase guns and mandatory gun education. You have to pass tests to drive a car but not to pack a gun. Gun shops actually run adds that say come on in and get your guns “while you still can.” To them just TALKING about tightening regulations = forbidding citizens’ right to keep and bear arms. Talk about paranoid!

        And the Tea Party – no. I better not get started on THAT.

      • I don’t understand why people need to pack a gun to the grocery store. I read an interesting article on an American cop who came up to Calgary, and two people started talking to him and he said he wished he had his GUN! WTF!

        Here it is – http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/calgary/Paranoid+ridiculed+over+need+bear+arms+Calgary+park/7061000/story.html

        This really is out-to-lunch. I don’t think most Americans, even Americans who have guns take it to this extreme though.

      • What makes you think we in Canada don’t have free speech? We don’t have a government who has passed a law that will allow them to make you disappear indefinitely if they want to think you might have terrorist connections, despite the fact that you are a citizen. We haven’t had our rights systematically eroded like your Homeland Security mindset has allowed in your country. We do have laws against hate speech being disseminated as truth, but all in all, our country has not gone down the road of controlling the individual as yours has. And at the same time, we have better laws in place to control which jacka$$ gets to own a gun.

        I appreciate your article on horses being slaughtered and the use of bute as I am a vegan and a horse caretaker but I’m a little offended by your blanket statement that Canadians don’t really have free speech like you Americans do. Geeze, we’re not all Eskimos up here living under a Russian like dictatorship you know.

      • Thanks for reading Debrah, I’m glad you liked at least some of the post. As a Canadian, Homeland Security is not applicable to me. And I’m glad we don’t have “free speech.” Who wants to give the Westboro Baptist Church free rein to come up here and protest funerals? They already tried that and were kicked around the block three times until they were sent shuffling back to the US.

        And we sent Ernst Zundel packing too. These are good things. There are very clear consequences to exercising one’s freedom of speech. Especially when the time, place, and/or speech freely exercised is inappropriate. Some Americans would say that they support such things as a Ku Klux Klan rally or the right for people to be openly racist, homophobic or intolerant in any other way as long as it only involves speech. Some Canadians would too, however, the vast majority, including myself, would not go for this. The costs to some members of society for the total freedom of speech often outweigh the benefits.

  1. Pingback: Bute – It’s What’s for Dinner – by Heather Clemenceau | Canadian Horse Defence Coalition's Blog

  2. I totally agree with you, Heather. It’s worse than out-to-lunch – it’s insanity. That cop was paranoid because he has reason to be. Some idiot with a concealed weapon and a hatred for “pigs” (as these types call policemen) could blow him away in the Fruit-Loops section. I don’t understand. To me it’s utter craziness.

    I DO know however that it’s pushed by ultra-right wing billionaires, think Richard Murdock, who – along with their Nazi-like followers – are “taking their country back.” This has been building underground for a long time, but – and I really, REALLY hate to say this – I saw it explode before Obama was even nominated. These slime-balls ARE Nazis when it comes to race. They simply could NOT stand for the US to have a black president. They can deny it all they want, but I’ve never in my life seen such HATE as I’ve seen against President Obama. It’s sickening and very depressing.

    As far as guns proper, the National Rifle Association – another right-winger – has a very powerful lobbying influence, just like the ones that got horse slaughter plants refunded – on paper at least. Right now as NEVER before, lobbyists OWN Washington. Especially since the right-wing Supreme Court ruled that corporations are people, so can give as much money as they want directly to a candidate. You know who all that money goes to.

    We are fighting to take OUR country back too, but a lot of people are going to have to wake up to what’s happening to their freedoms under the very legislators THEY elected.

    • Yes, this is why it’s such a concern that Wallis and DesBarres have got themselves a couple of pitbull lobbyists for the IEBA. At least, she has retained them in theory if not in practice. And from a Canadian perspective, Gerry Ritz – of Ag. Canada is THE MOST LOBBIED GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL in Canada. He’s already in over his head as it is.

      • In your opinion Heather, why is Gerry Ritz of Ag Canada the most lobbied government official? I know I’ve emailed his office a couple times about animal transport and I think that includes one as a result of reading an article about the Quebec horse slaughterhouse. But what do you think are some of the things he’s hearing from folks about?

      • Debrah, my comment about Ritz is based on statements coming out of the Ottawa Citizen. He is being lobbied by professional lobbyists, I really couldn’t hazard a guess what ordinary citizens are communicating with him about. Here’s the article – http://blogs.ottawacitizen.com/2011/11/21/ag-minister-gerry-ritz-most-popular-with-lobbyists/

        Here is the complete list (sorry that the data is not parsed very well – WordPress is not a spreadsheet):

        Minister Portfolio Lobbyist contacts
        Gerry Ritz Agriculture 51
        Joe Oliver Natural Resources 40
        Ed Fast International Trade 36
        Christian Paradis Industry 33
        Jason Kenney Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism 30
        Peter Kent Environment 29
        Maxime Bernier Min. of State (Small Business and Tourism) 27
        John Baird Govt. House Leader 25
        Denis Lebel Transport, Infrastructure and Communities 25
        Ted Menzies Min. of State (Finance) 23
        Jim Flaherty Finance 19
        Lisa Raitt Labour 19
        John Duncan Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development 19
        Vic Toews Public Safety 18
        Gary Goodyear Min. of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario) 16
        Stephen Harper Prime minister 15
        Keith Ashfield Minister for the Atlantic Gateway 15
        Rona Ambrose Public Works and Government Services 14
        James Moore Canadian Heritage and Official Languages 14
        Diane Ablonczy Min. of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs) 13
        Leona Aglukkaq Health 11
        Steven Fletcher Min. of State (Transport) 10
        Tim Uppal Min. of State (Democratic Reform) 9
        Steven Blaney Veterans Affairs 7
        Bal Gosal Min. of State (Sport) 7
        Bev Oda International Cooperation 7
        Bernard Valcourt Min. of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie) 7
        Diane Finley Human Resources and Skills Development 7
        Peter MacKay National Defence 6
        Lynne Yelich Min. of State (Western Economic Diversification) 6
        Gail Shea National Revenue 6
        Alice Wong Min. of State (Seniors) 5
        Peter Penashue Intergovernmental Affairs 5
        Peter Van Loan Leader of the Government in the House of Commons 5
        Julian Fantino Associate National Defence 3
        Tony Clement Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario 3
        Rob Nicholson Justice 2

  3. Hi Heather, thanks for clarifying for me, that you aren’t an American. In reading through your article, that wasn’t clear to me, and the impression that I was left with was that as usual, an American is snubbing their nose at us ‘neighbors to the north’. I’m totally in agreement with you (now that I understand your position’. Thanks again for the article. Well written.

    • Thanks Debrah, I only meant to convey that Canada frowns on speech that is damaging to segments of the population, so to that extent, as Ernst Zundel demonstrated over many years, I think it’s right to suppress *some* speech. I am glad for the constitutional right to protest freely in front of La Palette restaurant in Toronto – the Toronto police support us too!

    • Sorry you misunderstood Suzanne but I didn’t reply to you at all. I was commenting to Heather as I’d misunderstood something she said about Canada not having ‘free speech’ the way Americans understand it. The rest of what I said about the US government chipping away at the so-called rights and freedoms of the average American citizen still stands as well as how diligently your authorities try to prevent the wrong people from having guns (and that goes in particular to which guys get to carry guns in their jobs as cops).

      • I don’t like the Freedom Act either, Deborah, but – with all due respect – YOU were not the country that was attacked, flattening two of the best known buildings in the world while hundreds of people from almost every country were inside.

        They would have taken out the Pentagon as well if the brave passengers on that doomed plane hadn’t taken over from the terrorists and diverted the plane.

        I was a HORRIFIC experience, and I don’t think any American who saw it live will ever forget where they were and how they felt that awful day. The Patriot Act was passed in those early days when we didn’t know WHAT to expect.

        It was supposed to be repealed when the situation calmed down. But, of course, once government get power they are loathe to give it up. I now think it definitely should be repealed, but I wasn’t so cock sure in those early days.

        You kinda had to be there.

      • Suzanne, the whole world was there watching that tragedy. There are no borders when devastation happens to the human family. That being said, I believe that your own government was involved at least to the point of knowing it was coming and doing nothing about it. And the changes that followed were to manipulate the situation to their own end further. Your country is no longer what it once was. The people used to rise up to protect itself, to speak out for itself and now…..? Paul Revere and the war that followed, Vietnam protests come to mind, Martin Luther King marching, and yet, when your financial industry (and government) allows fraud and lies and corruption to take down the world economy and then a fledgling protest (Occupy Movement)tries to stand up for what is right, the country pretty much laughs at them instead of standing up for the little man, and the average citizen who’s lost so much. And when CIA operative Susan Lindauer tries to stop the Iraq war because it is based on lies, your government imprisoned her. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ioh9jGAk-g8 And how many of your young men and women have died and how many innocent civilians in Iraq have they murdered and all based on lies? I like individual Americans, but your country has gone down the rabbit hole of depravity. It no longer stands for justice and the right. Sorry, just my opinion.

  4. From Bob Hillery via FB – “Alberto Contador is the Spanish pro-cyclist who was stripped of Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and a couple other titles after a two year ban was imposed by UCI. Tons of controversy but even though it was a small amount found in his system, it translates into his either abusing it (risky but positive cardio-pulmonary effects and lean muscle mass for athletes – it’s why it’s banned), or “eating several pounds of beef all at one sitting.” That comment from a US Anti-Doping rep I spoke w/ at a USA Cycling clinic I attended at the US Olympic training center in Colorado Springs. Just some more specifics re: why clenbute should be banned from the food chain completely. (BTW, a big contributor to Contador’s ban was that they also found clear evidence of DEPH – the phtalates used in plastic IV bags frequently associated w/ homologous transfusions and blood-doping. And the Spanish meat industry screamed when accused of having bute in the meat & demanded a full investigation. So, at least they were pretending to have clean meat sources and pointed to Contador as a liar. Then again, given the low levels on honesty in the meat industry around the world it could have been tainted and none would admit it. )

    I am a USAC licensed cycling coach, but I speak only for myself. USAC, USOC, and USADA all – correctly – take the position that the athlete is solely and ultimately responsible for anything ingested. Here’s a link to some additional info: http://www.tas-cas.org/d2wfiles/document/5648/5048/0/final20award202012.02.06.pdf.

    There was loads of controversy, especially with the admin delays by the various European bodies. However, the USADA folks I spoke with pretty much said it would be really hard to consume enough contaminated meat, esp. as even where it’s allowed to build lean muscle mass it must be stopped something from 30 to 90 days before slaughtering. And there’s the question of whether one detects the bute, or metabolites, and if the steer metabolizes clenbute does THAT cause a positive clenbuterol test? I.e., does the clenbute metabolite react to the human the same way or does one get a derivative metabolite (not from primary ingestion) or does what comes from the meat (metabolite) simple sit in the human system and thus appear to be a metabolite from primary ingestion? That’s a level of detail I haven’t resolved.”

    • I believe that the law holds that if you’ve tested positive for a drug, you’re considered to have consumed it, but it does not suggest or prove how or by what method you consumed it. So the cycling associations mentioned take a position that is legally consistent according to case law. Not knowing what the anti-doping test consisted of (do they test for the drug alone or do they include metabolites?) makes it harder to determine whether he actually tested for clenbuterol itself or its metabolites or both? If he tested for clenbuterol, then a positive test would indicate that that resulted from primary consumption and that consumption of the drug was the proximate cause of his positive drug test.

  5. Deborah ~ If something like this ever happens in your back yard, believe me, it WILL be different. You don’t know how it feels until it HAPPENS to your HOME. Our government was not involved except for being over-confident and not really understanding the other side. I was NOT for going into Iraq.

    You certainly have a right to your opinion and I believe I posted that I was not happy with the way things are going here right now. HOWEVER, if our positions were reversed, I would NEVER criticize Canada as you have MY country. It’s not my place to tell Canadians what wrong with their country as if a person living there wouldn’t know the situation far better than any foreigner – even one next door. I believe it’s called “tact.”

    This is also off topic and this is my last post on the subject.

  6. Your government has been complicit in bringing about much of the ‘dislike’ for your country that abounds in the world Suzanne and it may have boiled over and resulted in the 9/11 attack. Your government has supported puppet dictatorships around the world for decades and does so today. Your government protects and provides weapons for drug dealers in the America’s and in Afghanistan (the poppy fields flourish once again now that the Taliban are gone). Your government has not prosecuted any of the criminals that brought down the economy around the world whereas a little country like Iceland has seen to it that some of their bankers have lost everything and are doing time in prison. These are all things that are part of the public record and you deny them at your own peril. And unfortunately, at this point anyway, you deny them to the peril of the rest of the world. Because like it or not, when the US sneezes, the global community is affected.

    And as long as you read and understand what has gone on to bring our country to a present course, go ahead and criticize. We or at least I am/are not afraid of outside opinion because sometimes it takes an outsider to see what is really going on. It is possible to be too close to a situation. The world criticizes us for our handling of environmental issues and the seal slaughter! And those of us who care about our planet and our place in it, welcome it because it gives our push to improve the situation extra weight. When you can point to your supporters who are the world, then perhaps ones own government will be a little less likely to run roughshod over citizens desires and needs and rights. But to hide behind suggestions that tact is more appropriate is to establish a desire for the ‘status quo’.

    I’m sure that in hindsight, the Syrian people for example, would appreciate it if the world had criticised that government a few years ago. And look where they are now. Because the status quo was acceptable and no one spoke up because no one cared.

    And you’re right, we’ve gotten terribly of topic and my apologies to Heather and everyone else here and I too will follow suit and no longer comment on this particular side issue.Sorry folks.

    • My, you presume to know a lot about a country where you do not live. I would never presume to know both sides in a country not my own, nor is it my place to judge another country where I don’t live, and can’t possibly know their issues as intimately as they do.

      Since this is neither the time nor the place, tact IS more appropriate in THIS VENUE. END

    • There is nothing wrong with constructive criticism …how else does one learn from their mistakes? If journalists did not care or lacked the courage to go against the grain, to unearth the truth about issues, we would all be living in the dark ages. Thank you Heather for your courage to write about what you investigate…& to you Debrah for caring about the mess this world is in. So many people & organizations do not take responsibility, yet continue to reap all the benefits. One of my pet peeves is the lack of support from major horse organizations like Equine Canada & the Ontario Equestrian Federation against the slaughter of horses. The big guns in the horse industry are SILENT! By their silence it makes one think that they know what is going on & do not give a damn. The thoroughbred industry is slowly coming to terms with what is happening to their unwanted horses & racetracks are starting to making changes ect. Why is Equine Canada not voicing their opinion on the transportation & revolting treatment of socialized horses at the slaughter houses? Maybe they are all CONSERVATIVES & REALLY they SUPPORT horse slaughter!!!! Which popular horse magazine is publishing pictures & trying to get the word out about what happens to most horses that go to auction????? NONE that I have seen…….How can they all continue to play both sides of the fence??????

      • I think you are right comedy, when you suggest that the horse organizations know. They know and their existence depends on people continuously breeding more horses. That they don’t even go ofter Big Ag and slaughterhouses to INSIST on humane killing at the very least is a total giveaway as to where their heart lies!!!. But they don’t. Because they don’t care. Horses are a commodity to them, a product, a reason for their jobs. So the suffering is unimportant.

        http://www.dairyherd.com/dairy-news/latest/116916743.html This link will tell you why the situation is what it is. Dave Duquette, who is the United Horsemen CEO and President defends the practise of horse tripping in the state of Oregon. And when the HSUS made a valiant effort to get it legislated out of existence, this man made the following statement:

        “The HSUS goal is to gradually pick away at owners’ rights to decide what is best for our horses and livestock, They hide their agenda behind pretty language about protecting animals. But we are finally starting to educate the public about what is behind the curtain. Oregonians are too smart to fall for the misleading HSUS rhetoric. Those of us who love horses, livestock and the Western lifestyle need to work together to preserve our heritage and the right to decide what is best for our animals.”

        The thing to notice in his statement is the language. words like ‘what is best for our horses’, ‘those of us who love horses…’, ‘doing what is best for our horses’….and this from a man who is defending horse tripping! There is a serious mental disconnect, verging on some sort of mental disorder going on here in these people.

      • Comedy, it is entirely likely that the only reason the racing industry is beginning to change their attitude on their ‘discards’ is because the slaughterhouses are beginning to look askance at Thoroughbreds because of all the drugging that goes on. Now that’s not a for sure because I can’t remember where I read that, but it’s a reason why that industry might be finding themselves in a position to have to find other means to ‘re-home’ their horses. As a matter of fact, I was on a horse forum (who mostly support killing ‘the animals they love’) and a race guy had posted that some track was having a sale on 30 horses that they needed to dispose of. If slaughterhouses were accepting race horses easily still, it would have been simpler to just ship them, but because he isn’t doing that, who knows, maybe the impact of European markets getting nervous is having an effect.

  7. Just as a further note, Mr. Duquette castigates those of us who support ending horse slaughter by saying this, “They hide their agenda behind pretty language about protecting animals”!!!! Like wanting animals to be treated well is a crime, a sin!!!! Oh my gosh!

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